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Āsava: lit: fermentations, taints, corruptions, intoxicant biases. There is a list of four as in D. 16, Pts.M., Vibh.:
1: The mental fermentation of sense-desire kāmāsava, Ex: 'All is pleasant'
2: The mental fermentation of desiring existence bhavāsava, Ex: 'Being is good'
3: The mental fermentation of wrong views ditthāsava, Ex: 'My opinion is best'
4: The mental fermentation of ignorance avijjāsava. Ex: 'Suffering exists not'
A list of three, omitting the fermentation of views, is possibly older and is more frequent in the Suttas, e.g. in M. 2, M. 9, D. 33; A. III, 59, 67; A. VI, 63. In Vibh. Khuddakavatthu Vibh. both the 3-fold and 4-fold division are mentioned. The fourfold division also occurs under the name of floods ogha and yokes yoga.
Through the path of Stream-Entry, the fermentation of views is destroyed;
Through the path of Non-Returning, the fermentation of sense-desire;
Through the path of Arahatship, the fermentations of existence and ignorance.
M. 2 shows how to overcome the fermentations, namely, through insight, sense-control, avoidance, wise use of the necessities of life. For a commentarial exposition, see Atthasālini Tr. I, p. 63f: II, pp. 475ff.
khīnāsava = one whose fermentations are eliminated, or one who is fermentation-free, is a name for the Arahat or Noble One. The state of Arahatship is frequently called āsavakkhaya the destruction of the fermentations. Suttas concluding with the attainment of Arahatship by the listeners, often end with the words: During this utterance, the minds of the Bhikkhus were freed from the mental fermentations through absence of clinging anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimuccimsū'ti.
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Samyojana: 'mental chains'. There are 10 mental chains tying beings to the wheel of existence, namely; 1: personality-or-ego-belief sakkāya-ditthi, 2: sceptical doubt vicikicchā, 3: clinging to mere rules and ritual sīlabbata-parāmāsa, see: upādāna 4 sense-craving kāma-rāga.v., 5 ill-will vyāpāda 6 craving for fine-material existence rūpa-rāga 7 craving for immaterial existence arūpa-rāga 8 conceit māna, 9 restlessness uddhacca,, 10 ignorance avijjā. The first five of these are called 'lower mental chains' orambhāgiya-samyojana as they tie to the sense-world. The latter 5 are called 'higher mental chains' uddhambhāgiya-samyojana as they tie to the higher worlds, i.e. the fine-material and immaterial world A. IX, 67, 68; X. 13; D. 33, etc..
He who is free from 1-3 is a Sotāpanna, or Stream-winner, i.e. one who has entered the stream to Nibbāna, as it were. He who, besides these 3 mental chains, has overcome 4 and 5 in their grosser form, is called a Sakadāgāmi, a 'Once-returner' to this sense-world. He who is fully freed from 1-5 is an Anāgāmī, or 'Non-returner' to the sense-world. He who is freed from all the 10 mental chains is called an Arahat, i.e. a perfectly Noble One.
For more details, see: ariya-puggala.
The 10 mental chains as enumerated in the Abhidhamma, e.g. Vibh. XVII, are: sense-craving, ill-will, conceit, wrong views, sceptical doubt, clinging to mere rules and ritual, craving for existence, envy, stinginess, ignorance.
Ariya-puggala: or simply Ariya: Noble Ones, noble persons:
The 8, Ariya = Noble Ones are those who have realized one of the 8 stages of Nobility, i.e. the 4 supra-mundane paths magga and the 4 supra-mundane fruitions phala of these paths. There are thus these 4 pairs:
A1. The one realizing the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga.
A2. The one realizing the fruition of Stream-winning sotāpatti-phala.
A3. The one realizing the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga.
A4. The one realizing the fruition of Once-return sakadāgāmi-phala.
A5. The one realizing the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga.
A6. The one realizing the fruition of Non-return anāgāmi-phala.
A7. The one realizing the path of Nobility arahatta-magga.
A8. The one realizing the fruition of Nobility arahatta-phala.
Summed up, there are 4 noble individuals ariya-puggala:
1: The Stream-winner Sotāpanna,
2: The Once-Returner Sakadāgāmi,
3: The Non-Returner Anāgāmī,
4: The Worthy One Arahat.
In A. VIII,10 and A. IX, 16 the gotrabhū is listed as the 9th noble individual.
According to the Abhidhamma, the supra-mundane path, or simply path magga, is a designation of the moment of entering into one of these 4 stages of Nobility with Nibbāna being the object, produced by intuitional insight vipassanā into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature. By fruition phala is meant those moments of consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the path, and which in certain circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during the life-time.
I: Through the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga one becomes free whereas in realizing the fruition, one is freed from the first 3 mental chains samyojana, which bind beings to existence in the sense-sphere, to wit:
1: Personality-belief sakkāya-ditthi, see. ditthi,
2: Skeptical doubt vicikicchā,
3: Clinging upādāna to mere rules and rituals sīlabbata-parāmāsa.
One has maximally 7 rebirth rounds before Awakening and cannot be reborn
as animal, ghost, demon or hell-being.
II: Through the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga one becomes nearly freed from the 4th and 5th mental chains, to wit:
4: Sense-desire kāma-cchanda = kāma-rāga rāga, and
5: Ill-will vyāpāda = dosa see: mūla.
III: Through the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga one becomes fully freed from the above-mentioned 5 lower mental chains.
IV: Through the path of Nobility arahatta-magga one furthermore becomes free from the 5 higher mental chains, to wit:
6: Craving for fine material existence rūpa-rāga,
7: Craving for formless existence. arūpa-rāga,
8: Conceit and pride māna,
9: Restlessness uddhacca, and
10: Ignorance avijjā.
The stereotype Sutta text runs as follows:
I: After the disappearance of the three mental chains, the Bhikkhu has won the stream to Nibbāna and is no more subject to rebirth in the lower worlds, is firmly established, bound for full enlightenment.
II: After the disappearance of the three mental chains and the reduction of greed, hatred and confusion, he will return only once more; and having once more returned to this world, he will put an end to suffering.
III: After the disappearance of the five mental chains he appears in a higher world, and there he reaches Nibbāna without ever returning from that world to the sense-sphere worlds.
IV: Through the ceasing of all mental fermentations āsava-kkhaya he reaches already in this very life the deliverance of mind, the deliverance through understanding, which is free from fermentations, and which he himself has understood and directly realized.
For the various classes of Stream-winners and Non-Returners, see: Sotāpanna, Anāgāmī.
B: The sevenfold grouping of the Noble Disciples is as follows:
1: The faith-devotee saddhānusārī,
2: The faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta,
3: The body-witness kāya-sakkhī,
4: The both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta,
5: The Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,
6: The vision-attainer ditthippatta,
7: The one liberated by understanding paññā-vimutta.
This group of seven Noble Disciples is thus explained in Vis.M XXI, 73:
1-2: He who is filled with determination adhimokkha and, in considering the constructions as impermanent anicca, gains the ability of faith, he, at the moment of the path to Stream-winning A1 is called a faith-devotee saddhānusārī; 2: at the seven higher stages A2-A8 he is called a faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta.
3: He who is filled with tranquillity and, in considering the constructions as miserable dukkha, gains the ability of concentration, he in every respect is considered as a body-witness kāya-sakkhī.
4: He who after reaching the absorptions of the formless sphere has attained the highest fruition of Nobility, he is a both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta.
5: He who is filled with understanding and, in considering the constructions as no-self anattā, gains the ability of understanding, he is at the moment of Stream-winning A1 a Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,
6: At the later stages A2-A7 a vision-attainer ditthippatta,
7: At the highest stage A8 a understanding-liberated one paññā-vimutta.
Further details about the body-witness => kāya-sakkhī, the both-ways-liberated one => ubhato-bhāga-vimutta and the understanding-liberated one => paññā-vimutta Cf. also M. 70; A. IX, 44; see: XII, 70; Pts.M. II, p. 33, PTS.